KUWAIT CITY — Assistant Foreign Minister of Asia Affairs at the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Sameeh Essa Johar Hayat has expressed disappointment with the decision of the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) on the deferment of action on the contracts of first-time domestic workers.
The DMW disclosed its decision in Advisory No. 5 issued on February 8, 2023.
Hayat conveyed this to Philippine Charge d’ Affaires to Kuwait Jose Cabrera III during their meeting on Thursday at the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Hayat expressed Kuwait's desire that the matter is resolved as soon as possible.
The DMW said it will defer the application of first-time Filipino workers seeking household service-related jobs in Kuwait until "significant reforms have been made."
The deferment came after Jullebee Ranara, a 35-year-old domestic worker, was found murdered and her body burned in a Kuwaiti desert on Jan. 21.
A suspect was arrested less than a day after Ranara's body was found. The suspect was her former employer's 17-year-old son.
In a press statement posted on Saturday by the Philippine Embassy on its official Facebook page, Cabrera explained to Hayat the DMW advisory that the deferment applies only to domestic workers who have not yet been previously employed in Kuwait and are being deployed to Kuwait for the first time.
Cabrera said the DMW is studying reforms to strengthen measures and mechanisms to ensure the welfare and safety of domestic workers, particularly those working in Kuwait for the first time.
Cabrera and Hayat also discussed during the meeting the schedule for the Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) as stipulated in the 2018 Agreement on the Employment of Domestic Workers.
The two officials agreed that the friendship between the Philippines and Kuwait should be strengthened through increased cooperation and that all concerns should continue to be addressed in a swift and amicable manner to achieve mutually acceptable results.